In recent years, the internet has gained more popularity and acts as a database or search engine for all kinds of information available in mere seconds. Online mode has changed everything for people like the way they shop, communicate, do business, socialize and even in the learning and education area. Currently, this pandemic situation had made everyone migrate from traditional learning to online learning. It forced all colleges and schools, because of pandemic emergencies, to shut down for safety measures. Clearly, online was the only way to operate.
Gone are the days of traditional classrooms now that we’ve finally entered online classes! Adjusting to the online classes was hard for all parties, especially students and parents. I mean, who would have thought that students will have to juggle through online meetings. Just like with anything new, this article explores the advantages and disadvantages of online classes.
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Advantages and disadvantages of online classes
Advantages of online classes
When I think about my school days, we had no clue about internet or online services. If pandemic would have hit when I was in school, the only option for me would have been homeschooling. For me it would have been great but I am sure for my son it would be his worst nightmare coming true. While technology has its limitation but it turns out there are huge advantages of online classes.
Pandemic has caused lots of uncertainty around the world. Stepping out in the crowd means putting yourself at risk. Safety of children, our next-generation, is of utmost importance and I would say the top-most advantage of online classes. Online classes are a great way for children to learn in a safe environment. Parents don’t have to worry about children’s safety. Online classes are a great way for the education industry to survive and grow.
We humans prefer to choose convenience. These online classes are great for both teachers and students to teach or attend the class respectively, in the comfort and safety of their preferred location. The advantage of online classes is to learn via modern technology features like text, video, animation, audio-recorded sessions and live chats. All these value-adds make children more flexible and give more opportunity to learn their missed classes from the recorded sessions in the database.
It is painful to spend your hard earned money. Online classes help save a lot of time and money. People do not need to travel to respective educational institutions. Hence, they can save money, which is usually spent on transportation and other miscellaneous expenses. The main advantage of online classes for education institutions is that they are saving cost incurred to run the education institution and other cost related to labor, electricity etc.
Pandemic has taught every one that it is time for us to focus on saving our resources and think about ways we could protect EARTH. An important advantage of online classes is that it saves time and resources. Students get a chance to learn using paperless method, which helps in reducing paper usage which means less Carbon footprint.
Online classes have become more comfortable way of spreading knowledge. It helps children boost their self-motivation level. Hesitation in raising questions is the most delicate task for everyone, and in an online class, students can even raise any queries as they do in the regular classroom with no reluctance of judgement etc..
Moving away from traditional classroom gave students a chance to explore something new through these online classes. Most young students were forces to self-study.
Disadvantages of online classes
While online classes gave students a platform to stay connected to the school and colleagues, there were few disadvantages that one has to ignore or overlook for children to keep going.
I remember when my son had his first online class, my concern was screen time but eventually, I had to learned not to notice since Online classes was the only way my son could learn and connect.
Just like every child, my son adapted well. It took time for every one for us to accept. An important disadvantage of online classes has been adaptability. Learning in new environment, miscommunication, and typical internet accessibility problems have and always will be a concern. Though online learning is a comfortable way for many not everyone can afford to buy digital gadgets and expensive internet connectivity. Those under poverty line, hardly got a chance. Despite most charitable organizations, many children had no choice but to drop school.
There are few other disadvantages of online classes cited below.
Lack of Discipline
A classroom itself results in incorporating discipline in children. Most parents and teachers try to ensure discipline in children. To encourage schools have certain regulations and rules that are mandatory for children to follow. One of the top disadvantage of online classes is ensuring discipline. Many times you would notice students will leave the session or turn off the camera just to play. Sometimes due to poor poor internet connection or power failure, students tend to lose focus. Many younger students would simply keep interrupting the sessions by experimenting with the interface. All this impacts the class and teachers face challenge in trying to ensure discipline.
Lack of Attention
Learning new things is always time consuming. To conduct an online classes, a teacher or an instructor would always need additional training. Use of digital tools is easy but not all are tech savvy. With new tools in hand, some teachers aren’t able to pay as much attention as they could in traditional classes. In most cases, due to background noise, due to internet issues or due to new tools, teachers ability to focus also gets impacted. One of the primary disadvantage of online classes is that the teachers cannot pay enough attention. Absence of social interaction and connectivity will be a huge concern.
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Another disadvantage of an online classes is the lack of face-to-face or social interaction. Learning is known to be more effective for the students when a two way communication could be developed. In online classes, students have a hard time connecting especially when they hardly know the teacher. Human connection and personal approach for students is missing. With 2 eyes and almost 20 screens in front, students tend to get distracted. For working parents, online classes coming with another challenge.
Imagine you are on an important business call and your child coming popping in asking for you to come join him for an activity class. You have no option but to sit with your child since despite lot of efforts he is not able to understand so teacher is asking for one of parents to be around for the session.
Students face ambiance issues in online classes. Classroom environment is always filled with fun and enthusiasm while in the virtual classroom, the students fail to experience human connection. A traditional classroom, students understand the concepts via hands-on exercises. But in online classes, the quality of learning and understanding is becoming a big questions.
Online classes accomplish only the activities, like listening to the class, learning them, presenting them in online exams, and getting the score. People are missing the education’s non-verbal elements and becoming more robotic. Since there are no laboratories or specimens, proctors will focus much on theory and overload the information, which will make students feel bored. Practical exposure is missing!
Dearth of motivation
Our grading system in online sessions seems to fail when it comes to online classes. In case of an online class, students are attending their exams without teachers, which could simply give students a chance to revisit their answer sheets before they upload it. Parents as well as teachers are unable to keep a track of their child’s education as there will not be any immediate feedback.
Recognition, acceptance, and accreditation are important for the students for their motivation. But it is lacking in online classes, which will decrease the creativity skill in children. They lack a competitive spirit.
Screen time is always an issue for parents. For past 6 years, I had worked super hard to make sure that my son stays away from screen but online classes changed everything. You would notice more and more children with spectacles these days.
Children take a huge amount of interest in gadgets. Some even cant sleep without it. Spending more house with screen is causing a lot more damage than we can even imagine. Children exposed to screens suffer from health issues like weak eyesight, headaches, back pain, less concentration, and much more. Another disadvantage of online classes is that it creates a sense of isolation among students because of a lack of interaction and makes them very stressed.
At this point, it is difficult to judge whether Online classes are good or bad. Looking at the pandemic situation, I am in awe of how technology really supported students. I see most students learning more than ever before through other available online platforms. But as a mother it is also difficult for me to ignore the other side of the coin. It is hard for me to ignore the disadvantages here since it directly impacts my child’s health and behavior. I believe I would have to stick with what I have right now and make the best of it.
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